Samsung China has issued an official statement via Chinese social media platform Weibo to state that it is reevaluating the collaboration with Supreme Italia it announced a few days ago. This comes after a Samsung China official and the New York Supreme had made statements about the controversial collaboration.
The full post reads, “Recently, Samsung Electronics announced at the launch of the Galaxy A8s that it will cooperate with Supreme Italia in the Chinese market. We are currently reevaluating this cooperation and we deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”
To recap, at a conference in China to launch its Galaxy A8s smartphone, Samsung China announced a collaboration with “Supreme,” and brought out two men apparently identified as the streetwear brand’s “CEO”s.
Making the story all the stranger, Engadget then reported that Samsung China’s digital marketing manager Leo Lau had responded to criticism of the announcement by revealing that the collaboration was in fact with Supreme Italia, a company that had taken advantage of “Supreme” not being trademarked in all territories, not the Supreme of New York City.
In a post that now appears to have been deleted, Lau wrote on his Weibo account, “The brand we are collaborating with is Supreme Italia, not Supreme US. Supreme US doesn’t have the authorization to sell and market in China. Whereas the Italian brand got the APAC (except Japan) product retail and marketing authorization.”
So the “collab” was legit. But not really.
After the story broke, NYC’s Supreme responded firmly via its Instagram Stories: “Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show. These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization.”
During the presentation, one of the two “CEO”s had stated that Supreme would be opening its first Chinese store next year, a seven-story flagship in Sanlitun, Beijing. He also announced that Supreme would be hosting its first ever runway show at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Watch the whole thing go down in the clip here from around the -18:23 mark.
Of course, this event conjures flashbacks to a news story from this summer, when a streetwear company in China hired an actor to pose as the “president” of Supreme to promote counterfeit products. China is notorious for its lax attitude toward intellectual property rights, with many people keen to take advantage of young consumers’ passion for brands such as Supreme through things like fake Supreme stores.
We’ll update this odd story if further news emerges.
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